Friday, August 15, 2008
Prof. Brian Havel, Director of the International Aviation Law Institute at DePaul University College of Law, was quoted in the August 15th edition of the Chicago Tribune's story on American Airlines (AA), British Airways (BA), and Iberia seeking to deepen their relationship as part of the Oneworld alliance. Commenting on the venture, Havel called it "an interesting play" which "puts pressure on the U.S. government to think about the next generation of airlines." Responding to AA's optimism that the alliance proposal will receive the requisite antitrust immunity from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) before the Bush Administration leaves office, Havel called the prospect "unlikely." Havel identified BA's willingness to agree to DOT terms for granting immunity as the "critical issue" for the potential success/failure of the alliance. The two carriers' last bid for DOT approval in 2001-02 ended in failure after BA refused to divest itself of lucrative slots at London's Heathrow Airport in order to assuage antitrust concerns.